1. There’s a species of shark that can live for around 500 years.
The Greenland Shark has the longest lifespan of all known vertebrates, living an average of 272 years, and some of them can live to be around 500 years old.
2. Human children don’t get kneecap bones until they’re around three years old.
It takes a while for children to get kneecaps. That part of the skeleton is called the patella. It starts out as cartilage and then ossifies into bone at around toddler age.
3. Aphids give birth to other pregnant aphids.
Aphids are a common garden insect. Most of them are born pregnant and don’t need men.
”Most aphids are born pregnant and beget females without wastrel males,” the US National Library of Medicine says. “Embryos complete development within the mother’s ovary one after another, in assembly line fashion. These developing embryos contain developing embryos of the third generation within them, like Russian dolls.”
Once a year, aphids have sex. The weather induces another “form” for the animal, which produces eggs rather than embryos. Males are also produced asexually.
4. A bear that fought with Poland in World War II was promoted to the rank of a corporal.
Wojtek the Soldier Bear was released from the prison camps of Siberia only to be picked up in Iran by Allied forces. A Polish army looked after him, and he helped out with the war effort, moving ammunition during the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.
Following the battle, he was promoted to the rank of a corporal. And after the Allies won World War II, he moved to Britain and lived in the Edinburgh Zoo until his death in 1963.
5. There are more trees on earth than there are stars in the galaxy.
NASA estimates that there are between 100 billion and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. And according to a paper in Nature, there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth.
6. Honey never expires.
Honey has a perfect chemical composition that makes it never spoil. Organisms can’t live inside it, meaning there’s nothing that can spoil in the first place. 5,000-year-old honey has been found and, in theory, is perfectly edible.
7. A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus.
To puzzle this out, remember that one day is how long it takes for a planet to rotate on its own axis, and one year is how long it takes for a planet to rotate around the sun. Venus takes about 243 Earth Days to spin around just once (and in the opposite direction as the Earth, by the way) and 225 Earth Days to go around the sun. So a day is longer than a year.